Title: Exodus (Heaven Corp #2)
Author: C.C. Bridges
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 28, 2018
Genre(s): Sci-fi, BDSM
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Heaven Corp: Book Two
The truth could lead to war.
Henry “Hank” Abraham enjoys being one of the most sought-after personalities in Heaven. Life is good in the floating city for someone born to one of the wealthy and influential Founding Families. Hank parties with the privileged and beds someone different every night, flouting the morality laws that control the lives of the common people on the city’s lower levels. Then someone tries to kill him—repeatedly. Terrorists have Hank in their crosshairs, and his long disinterest in politics has come home to roost.
Ian Caldwell has been a security guard for the Abraham family for years. He survives the hypocrisy by sneaking away to the BDSM clubs on Earth to feed his baser desires. When he’s assigned to protect Hank, Ian pushes his attraction for his client aside. That kind of thing could get him reprogrammed. But he doesn’t count on actually falling for a man who isn’t as shallow and self-absorbed as he seems. Neither of them is prepared for the truth behind the attacks. Their journey will take them from Heaven to hell and beyond… and it might bring the tension between the classes to a violent head at last.
Second Edition; First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, March 2014.
Book 2 in the Heaven Corp Series. I will admit, I didn’t read book one and I had NO problems following the world setting and characters in book two. I will be going back and reading book one!
Premise of Exodus is Henry – Hank – Abraham is the third son of a high ranking family in Heaven. He is known for being a playboy, more in love with himself and his parties than any active role in the family business. Hank is the “spare” in the Abraham family – not directly in line but having no part in the family business. He’s tolerated and indulged, knowing that his role will be to someday wed into another ranking family to solidify ties.
Ian is from the lower levels, having worked his way up into Heaven where he finds that despite all the trappings of Heavenly right, it’s not necessarily a better place. Ian is Hank’s latest bodyguard and the only one who seems to be able to keep up with the young man. When Ian saves Hank from a bomb, and Ian is assigned to Hank 24/7 instead of just part of a loose team, they both begin to realize the other man is more than what they seem despite being from such disparate worlds and workstations.
As Ian and Hank are forced to rely on each other more and more, Ian finds Hank isn’t the empty-headed playboy everyone makes him out to be, and Hank finds that Heaven can be anywhere you make it.
I enjoyed this story a lot. I liked the world setting – a environmentally destroyed Earth, where these floating levels have been built and the higher one goes, the closer to Heaven. The angels rule above, the demons reign below. Though, me being me, I did have to wonder if there were other levels built around the world that represented other religions – Hindu, Islam, Judaism, or had the Christian concepts completely taken over? But neither here nor there…
I enjoyed how Hank grew mentally and emotionally, coming to realize that there was more to life than bouncing from party to party. Ian’s character balanced Hank’s privileged one – rough, knowing life can and will bite you in the ass, and the all the trappings above won’t change what’s below.
There were just a couple of items that detracted from the book – I never did get a good feel for why the antagonist wanted to start a war with Texicorp (I think I got that spelling right?). I felt there was something dangling just beyond my reach that would have solidified everything for me. And I could have just missed the reason too…
Uriel/Ty gave Ian a direct line to Uriel – why didn’t Ian ever use it? Call up and say “Yo, Uriel, we’ve got a problem…”
And a BDSM lifestyle between consensual partners is a sexual deviancy, but sleeping with a different partner every night and taking stim patches ad drugs is okay? I admit to a bit of trouble reconciling Heaven’s double standard.
My biggest complaint – the story ended much too quickly! I kept punching my screen in hopes of just ONE more chapter! Alas, there was not.
Ultimately, a well written engaging book with some great world building and strong, interesting characters.